Some days, gravity suctions me to my bed and disappointment colors all of my thoughts. Some days, I feel hidden in the shadows of my thoughts and the corners of my brain that tell me, “this is how it will always be: terrible, failing, frustrating.” I pull myself out of these black holes of seemingly constant depression by shining the light on the shadows. I shine the light primarily by talking about it. I let people know, “this is where my mind is today.” And they love me anyway. Love is my connection to reality. Love from others, love from myself.
Today, I woke up feeling ready. I woke up feeling free from the shackles of depression. I woke up feeling a weight off my shoulders and a willingness to come back to breath.
Depression is scary and I’m trying to stop hating it. Depression is on my resentment list. Depression is on my gratitude list. Depression, these days, forces me to be authentic. It forces me to be honest because I know that over time, if I hide it, it grows. So I let it be seen. I let it be heard. And I try so hard not to hate it. Sit with me, have tea.
And on days that I wake up and I don’t feel its tight, suffocating grip on my mind, I celebrate. I get grateful for the ease of getting out of bed. I try to celebrate without saying, “that motherfucker is gone!” Because I am tired of talking shit to myself about my depression. I’m tired of calling it an asshole. It isn’t bad. It isn’t good. It just, very simply, is. And when I allow it to be, I can better hear what it wants to tell me.
I have come to believe that my depression was built into my brain a long time ago to protect me the very best way it knew how- to shut me off. To turn me into auto-pilot. To keep me from the moment, because there were moments that I couldn’t have handled if I had been there mentally. So, my depression kept me away from it. And now, it comes and it goes and it comes and it takes me and I let it be. I try so hard to let it breathe.
And now, it helps me connect. Because when it comes, I know it’s time to hold on tight to the people who love me and see me and who have my back. And this time around, it taught me a lot about my job.
It showed me how loved I am at work. Because I got depressed, and I still had to show up. And I had to tell my work support system what was going on. And they loved me so much. And I felt it all the time. And I gave myself a break, and I am just so grateful that they understood. That the words out of their mouths were not, “ooohhh, okay, well…” but were instead, “tell us what you need, we are here for you.” Immediate, non-judgmental acceptance. This is among the biggest gifts my recovery has brought me. I am just so grateful.
And this morning, as I drink my tea and watch my adorable puppy eat my shoes, I feel peace. If I am late to work today, it isn’t because it took me three hours to get out of bed, it’s because I keep getting stuck looking in wonder at my beautiful life. (Don’t worry, I won’t be late).